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Exploring Burgundy and Champagne

Travel Recommendations

A look into some of the producers and restaurants we’ve come to love over the years on our annual trip to Burgundy and Champagne.

Line up of Domaine Simone Bize et fils

In Savigny-lès-Beaune, in the Côte de Beaune of Burgundy, resides one of the most welcoming, hospitable and revered producers in the region, Chisa Bize of Domaine Simon Bize et Fils. Chisa has always welcomed us with open arms to taste and talk about everything from the history of the domaine, to the trials and tribulations of harvest, to the sheer excitement she feels about the most recent vintage. Every year we appreciate the passion she so clearly has for the domaine and continuing husband’s vision. 

While in the Côte de Beaune, dinner at Les Tontons is a must. This is a place where we dine every single year. They have an exceptional wine list with new, interesting finds that always keep us coming back. Furthermore, the husband and wife team never disappoint on the food front either. It’s a small menu with locally sourced, quality ingredients, and everything is made by the wife and served merrily by the husband. It’s a cozy, small bistro worth checking out. 

We also religiously make our way down to the northern border of the Saône-et-Loire department in Southern Burgundy to see Jean-Yves Devevey. We think he is producing some of the most exciting wines in all of Burgundy. We absolutely adore the wines of Jean-Yves as well as the man himself. 

Domaine Chandon de Briailles

Chandon de Briailles is another producer in Burgundy we are thrilled to visit and taste with year. Winemaker François Nicolay is consistently friendly and gregarious. It’s always fascinating for us to hear about his winemaking techniques and the hard work that he puts into the vineyards. His passion and dedication to making terroir-focused wine is incredible. 

A recent food discovery for us is one of the greatest prix fix value menus we’ve ever encountered. La Table du Square, previously a beer-centric bar, now serves fresh seasonal dishes that not only taste great, but have a fine dining presentation. Sound appealing? You can experience this sort of dining for only 17 Euro! We were blown away by the value and would definitely recommend stopping into this gem of a place.

If you make the drive up to the Côte de Nuits, a producer we love to visit is Humbert of Domaine Humbert Frères in Gevrey-Chambertin. A former rugby player, Humbert is a big, burly-looking man who makes some of the most delicate and finessed wines. The irony of this juxtaposition is definitely smiling inducing. 

Wine & cheese at Château de Béru

Beyond the Côte d’Or, all the way up to the magical wine region of Chablis, is the lovely and talented Athenaïs of Château de Béru. When we have the pleasure of making a visit to Château de Béru, it’s always surreal. The Château itself is breathtakingly gorgeous, and with the added company of the gorgeous and charming Athenaïs, it’s always an unforgettable experience. 

While in Chablis we’ve dined at the incredible Au Fil du Zinc. It has easily become one of our favorite restaurants in Burgundy, and certainly in all of Chablis. The flavors in every dish marry perfectly together and always have a freshness and elegance about them. Bite after bite you’ll be blown away. 

Now if you are traveling to Champagne, a great time to go is in April when many of the producers participate in multiple Champagne tasting events. Some of these events are industry only, but there are still a number of them for the everyday Champagne imbiber. When we travel to Champagne, we like to attend both of the tasting events as well as meet one-on-one with producers we’ve come to love.

One such producer is Raphaël Bérêche of Bérêche et Fils in Montagne de Reims. We often do a tasting of his vin clair - this is a process of trying every cuvée before they are assembled into a finished product, allowing us to glimpse how the wine might develop. If you ever get the chance to meet Raphaël, you’ll immediately fall in love with him. His personality and enthusiasm is infectious and we continue to be extremely thankful to offer his Champagne in our store, as well as indulge in a bottle or two ourselves. 

Champagne Vilmart et Cie barrels

Also in the heart of Reims is Vilmart & Cie with the charismatic producer, Laurent Champs at the helm. All of his Champagne are consistently highly aromatic and flavorful, with the ability to age for several years. 

One of the bigger tasting events we’ve attended is Bulles Bio en Champagne. This event is organized by the Association of Organic Champagne. It has included grower Champagne such as: Barrat-Masson, Bourgeois-Diaz, Vincent Laval, David Éclapart, Piollot and many more. 

We would recommend any fan of Champagne attend an event like this. You have a ton of grower Champagne producers all in one room, each of whom believe in organic viticulture and producing Champagne of quality and complexity. Every producer you walk up to will not only share a taste of their cuvèe, but also their love and passion for what they do.

Another great tasting event, is Terres et Vins at the opulent Palais du Tau in Reims. This is yet again a great way not only to taste Champagne, but also vin clair from multiple producers. The goal of Terres et Vins is to share authentic Champagne for Champagne enthusiasts and really highlight the terroir of the area. Tasting the authenticity of the terroir within Champagne can sometimes be difficult to pick up behind all the bubbles, which is why the producers at Terres et Vins start the morning by offering tastes of their vin clair only. After a couple of hours, a bell is rung and they move on to pouring their Champagne. Producers who attend can include many of the same producers at Bulles Bio, as well as Pascal Agrapart, Emmanuel Brochet, Marie-Noëlle Ledru, Fabrice Pouillon, Aurélien Laherte and Aurélien Suenen.

To satisfy your craving for both great Champagne and great food, you absolutely must go to L’Épicerie au Bon Manger. It’s the best grocery store/wine cafe you’ll ever walk into. Bon Manger is a cozy little space with only a few tables. It has a plethora of wines along the wall to either purchase and take home, or to enjoy right there along with whatever delicious dish owners Aline and Eric Serva serve up. They have a fresh selection of fish and meats, and a curated selection of natural and artisanal wines. Definitely check this place out to enjoy a casual and simple, yet oh-so-satisfying meal.

Cedric Bouchard backyard tasting

We also must mention, when planning a trip to Champagne, not to forget the wonderful region of the Aube. Some of the most incredible Champagne come out of this area. A perfect example are the Champagne of Cedric Bouchard. Cedric Bouchard’s line of Roses de Jeanne Champagne is some of the best we’ve ever had. 

Unfortunately, Cedric is not really one for facilitating appointments. We happen to think this only adds to his seemingly enigmatic, lone-wolf persona. However, as we have the incredible fortune to work in this industry, we’ve been able to visit and taste with Cedric. The memories we have with him are honestly too good not to gush about. During our most recent visit, we found ourselves in his beautiful “Secret Garden” style backyard with glasses lined up on a stone table in the middle of a picturesque setting. Cedric poured us cuvée after cuvée, each one more beautiful than the next, all the while regaling to us stories of working in the vineyard and having fun paint-balling! 

Cedric Bouchard is indeed one of a kind. If you never get the chance to meet the man himself, his Champagne certainly do an excellent job of conveying his unique style. 

Now, a producer who loves a visit from any Champagne enthusiast is Frédéric Savart of Champagne Savart. Fred likes to show us around his healthy and thriving vineyards and explain his organic viticultural practices. 

We’ve also had a blast sitting in Fred’s tasting room (often accompanied by his lovable and hilarious father Daniel) drinking Champagne and also enjoying rare and old bottles of Burgundy and Bordeaux. Fred and his dad will have you laughing and loving every minute you’re there. 

Clown Bar in Paris

Lastly, if you’re like us, you’ll probably make your way to Paris before returning home. If so, we definitely recommend staying at the incredibly cute hotel, Bourg Tibourg. This boutique hotel has an old school, yet chic style that perfectly compliments the city of Paris itself.  And it would be remiss of us not to mention the one and only Clown Bar.  It’s the perfect place for a final meal to wrap up an adventure in France. You can eat a delicious meal while taking in the sights and sounds of Paris on their patio (where they will even provide each person their very own blanket during the still somewhat chilly spring months). We’ve been lucky enough to dine while they’ve had Georges Laval Rosé Champagne on the wine list. Can you think of anything better to drink in celebration of a great trip to France? We certainly can’t. 

WHERE TO GO IN BURGUNDY & CHAMPAGNE:

ACCOMODATIONS 

Hôtel le Home
138 Route de Dijon, 21200 Beaune, France
http://www.lehome.fr/ 

Rooms are spacious yet have homey touches that make it a very comfortable and cozy stay. 

L’Assiette Champenois 
40 Avenue Paul Vaillant-Couturier, 51430 Tinqueux, France
https://www.assiettechampenois... 

An incredibly beautiful and uniquely modern hotel on the outskirts of Reims, known for it’s three-Michelin-starred restaurant, Tinqueux. 

Hôtel Bourg Tibourg (Paris)
19 Rue du Bourg Tibourg, 75004 Paris, France
https://bourgtibourg.com/en/ 

PRODUCERS 

Please be mindful that these producers may not always be available upon request. In regions such as Burgundy it can take years, even for those in the wine industry, to get a private tasting appointment. Also be aware that harvest, typically during the months of September and October, is their busiest time of year.

Domaine Didier Fornerol
15 Place de la Mairie, 21700 Corgoloin, France
www.lapaulee.com/fornerol/ 

Domaine Simon Bize et Fils
12 Rue Chanoine Donin, 21420 Savigny-lès-Beaune, France
www.domainebize.fr/ 

Domaine Fougeray de Beauclair
44 Rue de Mazy, 21160 Marsannay-la-Côte, France
www.fougeraydebeauclair.fr/ 

Jean-Yves Devevey
31 Rue de Breuil, 71150 Demigny, France
Phone: +33 3 85 49 91 11

Domaine Chandon de Briailles
1 Rue Soeur Goby, 21420 Savigny-lès-Beaune, France
www.chandondebrialles.com/en/ 

Domaine Humbert Frères
Rue de Planteligone, 21220 Gevrey-Chambertin, France
Phone: +33 3 80 51 80 14

Chateau de Béru
32 Gr Grande Rue, 89700 Beru, France
www.chateaudeberu.com/en/ 

Champagne Bérêche et Fils
Route de Louvois Le Craon de Ludes, 51500 Ludes, France
bereche.com/ 

Champagne Vilmart & Cie 
5 Rue des Gravières, 51500 Rilly-la-Montagne, France
www.champagnevilmart.com/ 

Champagne Frédéric Savart
1 Chemin de Sacy, 51500 Ecueil, France
champagne-savart.com/ 

RESTAURANTS

Glue Pot 
49 Place Drouet d'Erlon, 51100 Reims, France
Phone: +33 3 26 47 36 46

A pub style restaurant serving up classic bistro fare. They also offer some American dishes on the menu, just in case you might be feeling a little home sick. 

Doko Koko Bistro
8 Rue Colbert, 51100 Reims, France
Phone: +33 3 26 35 16 95

Le Servan 
32 Rue Saint-Maur, 75011 Paris, France
http://leservan.com/

Seasonally driven cuisine that changes every day. Each dish is exceptionally executed and served by an incredibly friendly and hospitable staff.

Mokonuts Bakery and Cafe
5 Rue Saint-Bernard, 75011 Paris, France
Phone: +33 9 80 81 82 85

An amazingly tasty array of baked goods as well as lunch options that  are equally tasty and don’t leave you feeling weighed down and heavy. You absolutely must try their cookies, trust us, you’ll be addicted! 

Les Tontons
22 Rue du Faubourg Madeleine, 21200 Beaune, France
http://www.lecomptoirdestontons.com/ 

La Table du Rocher
85 Route de Beaune, 21160 Marsannay-la-Côte, France
www.latabledurocher.fr/ 

Made from ancient rock, with wall paintings going back several centuries. It has quite the unique ambience. Though they do offer the familiar and popular Burgundian meal of escargot and all the cheese you could ever want.

La Table du Square
26 Boulevard Maréchal Foch, 21200 Beaune, France
www.latabledusquare.com/ 

Au Fil du Zinc
18 Rue des Moulins, 89800 Chablis, France
au-fil-du-zinc.restaurant-chablis.fr 

L’Épicerie au Bon Manger
7 Rue Courmeaux, 51100 Reims, France
https://aubonmanger.fr/ 

Clown Bar (Paris)
114 Rue Amelot, 75011 Paris, France
http://www.clown-bar-paris.com/

In-Store Pickup

To pick up your order, visit us at our Near North location. Due to our limited storage space, orders can only be held in the store for up to 30 days after purchase. If items are not picked up after 30 days, a $10 monthly item storage fee will be charged. Any orders of 2 cases or more will be charged per case. 

Near North

Mon–Fri Noon–8 / Sat 11–7
Closed on Sunday

1167 N Howe Street
Chicago, IL 60610
312.255.8990
orders@permanwine.com

Sounds good!